Ride Date: 04/16/2022
Miles Covered: 53
Weather Outlook: Dry, Overcast, 66°~70°
The first buddy group ride of 2022.
The week past has been fairly busy which didn’t allow me time to plan a GTGA ride for this weekend. In addition, a friend recently registered for the GTGA 2022 and planned to ride together. His bike being a recent purchase, the registration process was on going and hence he wasn’t ready to ride. I pulled in my ride buddies, if they wanted to do a half day rideabout around lower North Georgia. After discussions on a WhatsApp group chat, we were four to ride for a short time on Saturday afternoon, due to prior time commitments. Riders today were Rajib, Avi, John and myself. We decided on an ultra short ride to our coffee shop hangout, Barrell House Coffee Company in Ballground, GA.
We met at a recently opened Racetrac Gas Station, located perfectly for a meeting point. Kicked the tires. Quick chitchat, and talking about bikes. Rajib was on his new bike – Honda Rebel 1100, and John on a new Honda Goldwing. Both Rajib and John are strictly road riders. No off reading. While Avi, on his Super Tenere doesn’t mind the odd off-road (soft-roading) ride.
The common route to Ballground is quite ‘quick’ and like a backroads highway. I decided to lead the ride and take, what I call, the ‘Lost Route’ to Ballground. Getting to Ballground, as if we were lost and trying every road, except the straight forward one! The route took us the scenic way there. I normally use this route on a regular basis, as opposed to the straight (boring!) route. A good mix of turns, rural roling hills, farmlands, elevations, combined with a few long ‘open the throttle’ straight runs. A good route to find the winter hibernated riding legs. The boys enjoyed the route.
[Anyone local to this area would know the various routes and backroads well. If interested, the version of the Lost Route we took was:
From Hwy 9 – head onto Post Road and take a left on Dickerson Road. Dickerson Rd then intersects with Campground Rd; take a right at the intersection and continue onto Campground Road until it merges at a fork into Hopewell Rd – Holbrook Campground Road. This stretch of the Holbrook Campgrounds then winds around the Holbrook Campground and the surrounding Cabins. Past the Holbrook Campground, to the All Ways Stop Junction. Here’s where the Lost bit starts. Right at the Stop sign onto County Line Rd. As it weaves through picket fenced farms and ends at SR20. A quick right and left onto and off SR20 to Heardsville Rd for a short run to a Stop Sign. Left here to Franklin Goldmine Road. This becomes Lower Creighton Road as it ends on SR369 – Matt Highway. Left on to 369 and then quickly a right onto Yellow Creek Road. A five mile long straight throttle open climbing run up to the old Stancils Store junction. Left onto what has become my favorite backroad – Conns Creek Road. First half of this road is a succession of left and right turns – few cresting and turning on small elevations. This then opens up into a long dip and climb straight – another throttle open run till it ends at SR372 – Ball Ground Rd. Left at this junction to the final run into Ballground of 2 miles. Barrel House Coffee Co is just off the Main Street.]
After getting our versions of Coffee, we settled in to chatting and talking about all things motorcycle, our lives, and solving the world’s problems. And within no time, it was time to head back home.
We took the straightforward (read as boring!) route back. All in all, a good 2022 opening ride with the group. Hope to ride more and longer over the coming weekends.
Till next time, Rubber side down and Miles of Smiles to everyone!